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Woman makes legal history in right to die case

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.324.7338.629 (Published 16 March 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:629
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. BMJ

    A tetraplegic woman on a ventilator made legal history last week when she became the first patient in the United Kingdom to go to court in a bid to have the ventilator switched off.

    The case made headlines when the High Court convened at the woman's bedside in an intensive care unit, with the scene relayed by video to family, friends, and reporters in the courtroom.

    In another first, the rest of the two and a half day hearing, which took place at the royal courts of justice in central London, was watched by the woman on a video screen in her room. Propped up on pillows and attended to by her carers, she could be seen on three large screens in the courtroom, following the case intently.

    The hearing ended last Friday (8 March), with judgment not likely to be given until after Easter. A court order bans identification of the …

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